WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of buyers who agreed to purchase previously occupied homes fell sharply in November, an indication that sales will fall this winter, undermining last summer’s recovery.
The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements fell 16 percent from October to a November reading of 96. It was the first decline following nine straight months of gains and the lowest reading since June.
The drop was far larger than the 2 percent expected from economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
The report shows that consumers are taking their time following the extension of a tax credit deadline. The incentive of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers was set to expire at the end of November. But Congress pushed back the date and expanded the program.